( dpa ) - The cost of the European Union's homegrown satellite navigation system, Galileo, is set to skyrocket, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday.
Instead of costing 3.4 billion euros (5 billion dollars), as budgeted by Brussels, it was bound to cost at least 5 billion euros, and even 10 billion euros (nearly 15 billion dollars) was possible, the weekly said.
The figures had been drawn up by industry and EU budget experts, only weeks after the 27 governments papered over differences and agreed to go ahead with the controversial project.
Galileo is planned to go into operation in 2013 with 26 satellites providing a similar service to the US-run Global Positioning System. The EU says it will invent new uses for Galileo to make the European version pay.
Spiegel added that a secret German government study concluded the overall cost would rise by 1.5 billion euros even under optimum conditions. Any delay or unforeseen technical difficulty would only add to the cost.
EU capitals had been told that the development phase was over and had been paid for, but a Galileo expert said many technical problems had not been solved and the research would have to be paid for from the construction budget.